One of the things about Wicca that took me a long time to accept are all the esoteric gestures. I like them now, and they appeal to my inner Catholic traditionalist, but it took me awhile to accept them. There’s stances to use when drawing down the sun and moon. There’s special ways to “air sketch” the pentagram depending on which element you’re working with and if your invoking or banishing. And there are poses such as Roderick’s “magical passes.”
To be perfectly honest, I don’t use magical gestures all that much. I’ve gone through a long phase where I wanted to see just how ‘mainstream’ I could go with Wicca. What things I did and didn’t need to get the same psychological and magical changes. (Natalie’s probably laughing her ass off. She knows all the accouterments I’ve accumulated!) You really do need surprisingly little. But I do appreciate the ‘bells and whistles.’ It makes the ritual and magic just that more otherworldly and special.
So today, we are to try the maiden gesture, which is illustrated in the picture above, and which represents “the cosmic yoni” or “the vulva of the goddess,” “the personification of the female principle in nature.” Roderick asks us to stand facing the northeast, practice this magical pass, and “sense the energies it invokes for you.”
Here’s where I got a little confused. I’ve not encountered this pose in this setting before. The only Goddess Position I can really think of off the top of my head is curving your arms toward the sky and looking up. The equivalent God Position is arms crossed over your chest and looking forward. This particular pose of Roderick’s, however, I’ve encountered with elemental gestures, particularly in invoking them for a circle.
As you can see, a very similar stance is used for the element of water. In fact, I cannot find any source other than Roderick that uses this gesture for attuning with the maiden. And I find that troubling.
Still, I can see how this particular gesture is appropriate for the maiden aspect. It literally focuses your attention upon your genitals, and that is a body area Roderick sees as a symbolic place for the maiden. I can see it, too. The maiden becomes aware of this aspect of her body. So set aside some of my niggling protestations and did the exercise.
And you know what? It did help me feel more maidenlike. I felt fertile potential. I felt my own energy buzzing. It was pretty nice.